December 25, 1913 (Norwalk, CT) – July 7, 1944; 30 years old
Last local address: 4 Neptune Avenue, South Norwalk
Entered the service March 21, 1941
Service number: 31042417
Unit: 27th Infantry Division; 105th Infantry Regiment, Company C
Awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
From 27th Army Division photos; found on fold3.com, an affiliate of ancestry.com
On July 8, 1945, SSG Doddo was formally listed as “Finding Of Death” at Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, one year and one day after he was killed.
SSG Doddo’s remains were identified through a DNA match with great-niece Lorraine Denicola of Norwalk on November 3, 2020 and were returned for burial on June 15, 2021 at Bradley International Airport in Hartford. He was laid to rest at St. John’s Cemetery, Section A1, on June 18, 2021.
The official press release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency can be seen HERE.
From The Norwalk Hour August 10, 1944
Sgt Louis S. Doddo, 30, serving with the United States Infantry in the Saipan area of the Pacific war zone is reported missing in action since July 6 according to a War Department telegram received today by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Tony Doddo of Neptune Avenue. Sgt Doddo has been in the service since March 21, 1941. In January 1942, he went overseas to a Pacific island and was there 10 months. Then he was sent to the Hawaiian Islands, and from there to Saipan. Sgt Doddo is a carpenter by trade, and is a well known saxophone player. He played softball with the East Norwalk Eagles and is a member of the club.
From The Norwalk Hour September 27, 1945
A solemn requiem high mass will be sung for Sgt Louis Doddo on Saturday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Joseph’s Church. Sgt Doddo was reported to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Doddo of 4 Neptune Avenue, as missing in action about a year ago and over the week end, the War Department notified his parents he is now listed as dead. Sgt Doddo was in the Pacific theater of war.
From the Norwalk Hour November 19, 1946
St Ann’s Club and Auxiliary welcomed home approximately 100 of its members who served in the World War at the same time paid tribute to the memory of Staff Sergeant Louis S. Doddo, a member killed in action, at a dinner held in St. Ann’s Clubhouse, Ely Avenue, on Saturday night. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Doddo, Neptune Avenue, parents of the deceased veteran were the guests of honor. Mrs. Doddo was presented with a gift from the club. The dinner, restricted to members, was attended by 200. Angelo M. Santella, President of the club, was toastmaster. The only speaker heard was State Senator-Elect Stanley H. Stroffolino, who told of the fine work the veterans performed in the war and urged that they become active in the post-war affairs of the club and the community. Dancing followed the dinner. The hall was decorated with a patriotic motif.
From The Norwalk Hour July 7, 1953
NOTE: This notice was posted annually in The Norwalk Hour on July 7th to mark the anniversary of his death.
In loving memory of Louis S.
Doddo who was killed in action on
July 7, 1944 at Saipan.
With broken hearts we watched
you and saw you go away
Although we dearly loved you
We could not make you stay.
A precious one from us has gone,
A voice we loved is stilled,
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled.
You have left a beautiful memory
And a sorrow too great to be told.
But to us who have loved and lost you
Your memory will never grow old
We will not forget you ever.
Your memory will not fade.
Our thoughts will always linger
At the grave where you are laid.
Sadly missed by MOTHER, DAD
From the Norwalk Hour December 20, 2020
NORWALK — After over 75 years, one of Norwalk’s own is coming home.
Army Staff Sgt. Louis Doddo was only 30 when he was killed while serving in World War II, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. His division was attacked by Japanese soldiers on July 7, 1944, on the island of Saipan.
Doddo’s parents found out he was missing via a telegram from the War Department to their Neptune Avenue home the following month. The following July, the Army declared him dead. A Mass was held at St. Joseph’s Church that September in Doddo’s honor, shortly after his parents found out of his death, but the body was never found.
That is until Nov. 3 of this year. Seventy-five years after he was declared dead, the DPAA through DNA analysis was able to identify Doddo’s body, which will return to Norwalk for burial next spring.
For many years, no one knew for sure what became of Doddo, who was known as a talented musician and passionate ball player. He often attended parties with friends and played gigs at the Depot Restaurant near the South Norwalk Train Station, according to newspaper articles from the time. The story about his disappearance described him as a “well known saxophone player,” and other clips show he was part of Hugh Golden’s band, known as “an aggregation of clever musicians and snappy rhythm makers” who were popular around Connecticut.
Doddo also played baseball and was a member of the East Norwalk Eagles softball team. He was a carpenter by trade before joining the Army in 1941. He went overseas for the first time in 1942 and was stationed in Hawaii and Saipan.
After WWII ended, the American Graves Registration Service returned to the Pacific theater in an effort to identify fallen service members, per the DPAA. Unidentified remains were buried in the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines on March 30, 1950.
As time went on and technology advanced, historians were able to analyze DNA to account for more fallen soldiers. And on Dec. 6, 2018, the remains of a soldier dubbed Unknown X-26 were disinterred from Manila and sent to the DPPA at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis. Unknown X-26 ended up being Doddo.
A rosette will now be placed next to Doddo’s name on the Courts of the Missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu to indicate he has been accounted for, the DPPA said.
Norwalk has honored Doddo for his service over the years, including at an event last August to commemorate the 119 Purple Heart recipients from the city and on Oct. 4 at the Frank C. Godfrey American Legion Post 12 event honoring Norwalk’s Missing In Action, according to Jeff DeWitt, finance officer for Post 12.
DeWitt, a a retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant who also serves as chairman for the Norwalk Military & Veterans Liaison Committee and Quartermaster/Adjutant of Mulvoy-Tarlov-Aquino VFW Post 603 in Norwalk, stumbled across Doddo while doing research for his website dedicated to Norwalk residents killed while serving in wars. DeWitt began the website about two years ago to learn about those lost, as well as educate others.
According to DeWitt, there’s still about 46 people from Norwalk still unaccounted for.
“I would love to see them all come home,” DeWitt said. “There’s a credo in the service that no man is left behind. Everybody comes home. … The significance of that is to be able to give the family closure and honor them with full military honors for the sacrifice they made for the country. Everybody who’s ever served understands that.”
Doddo’s family said they plan to hold a ceremony for him in the spring when it’s safer to travel. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Norwalk Hour article regarding his return home for burial can be seen HERE.
Memorialized Courts of the Missing, Court 7, Honolulu Memorial, Hawaii
NOTE: Now that SSG Doddo’s remains have been identified, a rosette will be placed next to his name at the Courts of the Missing.
Buried in St. John’s Cemetery, 223 Richards Avenue, Norwalk; Section A1
Headstone photo pending